White Sox

Danks to start Opening Day

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Danks to start Opening Day

John Danks will take the mound for the White Sox on Opening Day, Robin Ventura announced after Monday's 4-3 loss to Los Angeles. Danks threw seven innings against the Dodgers, striking out four with no walks while allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits.

It's been assumed Danks would get the Opening Day nod since he agreed to a five-year extension with the White Sox in December. Since joining the White Sox rotation in 2007, Danks has a 4.03 ERA with 714 strikeouts and 300 walks.

But Danks is coming off his worst season since his rookie year, posting a 4.33 ERA in 27 starts in 2011. From 2008-2010, Danks' ERA sat at 3.61 in 97 starts.

When Danks takes the hill in Texas, he'll become the 49th left-hander to earn an Opening Day start for the White Sox in the team's 112-year history. Mark Buehrle started every Opening Day but 2007 from 2002-2011, and before him, David Wells and Mike Sirotka started the season's first game this century.

So over the last 12 years, the Sox have had a lefty start Opening Day in 11 of them. Jose Contreras owns the distinction of being the lone righty to start Opening Day since the turn of the millennium.

Danks will start against the team that drafted him with the ninth overall pick in the 2003 MLB Draft. The deal that brought Danks to Chicago on Dec. 23, 2006 is regarded as one of the best made by GM Kenny Williams, as the Sox sent Brandon McCarthy and a minor-leaguer to Texas for Danks, Nick Masset and another minor leaguer.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Class A manager Justin Jirschele, youngest manager in professional baseball

27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

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USA TODAY

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.

In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.

Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.

Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.

But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.

While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:

4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen